The job market is the tightest it has been for 50 years.  How are you keeping your best employees so you can save your recruiting dollars and shrink your time to fill metrics?

It starts with new hires.  When a new employee is offered a structured, new hire orientation process, they are 58% more likely to still be with the company 3 years later.

New employees are in a particularly interesting position. They want to prove themselves, look confident, and share their expertise. But often their team and leader are busy. They may attend a one or two-hour orientation class and then be left reading standard operating procedures with no one to show them around or answer their questions. After too much of this, their frustration levels will rise. The question often forms in the mind of a new hire: “Why should I stay here?”

In my experience, based on speaking with and surveying hundreds of new hires, the quality of onboarding—the process of integrating new employees into the company—is crucial. The rockier the onboarding process, the sooner new hires will leave the company. You may have heard stories of people at your organization that left after a few days or months. This is a waste of time, money, and morale for your team. The amount of waste can actually be tremendous: with all that time it takes to review resumes and interview candidates, the overextension of your current team, the work that goes undone, the errors of new hires as they learn their new role, the drop in morale of the team when they leave, and continued overwork by the team while the recruiting picks up again. Research puts this cost at approximately one and a half times the person’s annual salary.

Try to avoid a bad impression by putting together a welcoming onboarding process:

  • Thank employees for choosing your company. Give them a little gift or note signed by team members.
  • Provide an orientation class that ensures new hires know how to work safely: how to evacuate, how to get help, and how to avoid accidents in the work environment. Research shows accident rates are higher for new hires.
  • Tell new hires (in class or in-person) how they can help the company. Discuss goals, targets, current priorities, and challenges so they know where to focus efforts from the very start.

These suggestions are offered as a minimum, so feel free to add more to your new hire program. You might ask subject matter experts to introduce their department functions, go over the product lines, use web technology to tap in with coworkers or close ties in other sites, meet the general manager for breakfast, lead a tour of the facility—anything that may help the new hires acclimate quickly and smoothly to the organization as a whole. Also, do not hesitate to introduce fun. Adults like engaging training classes, so make sure your internal experts learn about the basics of instructional design by enrolling them in an excellent Train the Trainer class. Best of all, help them see how they can find the typical answers to questions and prepare them to jump in and help right away.

For additional help, join my free webinar to learn more about impacting retention for the better!  Register here!